Science & Tech

Researchers make 'major discovery' about the ageing process

Researchers make 'major discovery' about the ageing process
3 Things You Can Do To Stop Blue Light Aging Your Skin

Scientists have made a major breakthrough in slowing down ageing after years of trying to understand the causes.

According to a new study published in Nature, researchers from the University of Cologne have uncovered that gene transcription (defined as "the process of making an RNA copy of a gene's DNA sequence") becomes faster with age but more sloppy and less precise.

The lead researcher Dr Andreas Beyer told Euronews the findings were a "major discovery."

"This is, so far, the only eureka moment in my life," he told the publication. "I mean, this is a type of discovery that you don't make every other day."

He added: "There’s a storm on Twitter. Some colleagues are very excited."

Beyer highlighted that while past research has focused on why people age, no one has delved into how the transcription process changes as we age.

The previous research would "just look at differential gene expression," Beyer said, citing examples such as: "'When you age, which genes are getting turned on and which genes are getting turned off?'" and "'How does that change the regulation or the metabolism in the cell?'"

Sign up for our free Indy100 weekly newsletter

The second breakthrough found that having a "healthy diet or caloric restriction intervention would improve the quality of the transcription of the RNA production in the cell. And this would then have beneficial effects for the cells in the long run."

According to the outlet, it could potentially stop cancer from spreading. One of the principal investigators, Argyris Papantonis, told the publication: "It's a late-life disease because of errors. Constraining errors might be a way of constraining cancer emergence or late-life disease."

Beyer concluded that the findings help researchers "better understanding ageing, better understanding what's going on when we age."

He said it will also help "better understand interventions, which I think opens up new opportunities for delaying or expanding healthy ageing."

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

The Conversation (0)